Berklee Today

Scofield to Headline Vineyard Vibes 2003

Vineyard Vibes 2003 headliner John Scofield '73
Photo by Jason
Tanaka Blaney

Martha's Vineyard, an island located 15 miles off the southern coast of Massachusetts, is the quintessential summer vacation destination for many reasons. For the past two years, it also has become a place to hear some of the best jazz being played today. That's because of Vineyard Vibes, a Berklee-sponsored annual music event that has showcased the talents of Berklee alumni and students for near-sell-out summer crowds. Topping the bill this year, on July 24, will be the Grammy-nominated John Scofield Band, led by Berklee alumnus and world-renowned jazz guitarist, John Scofield '73. The group includes Berklee alumnus, Adam Deitch '98 on drums, bassist Andy Hess, and rhythm guitarist Avi Bortnick.

Now in its third year, the island's premier summer jazz event will change venues this year and take place at the storied Hot Tin Roof. Originally opened in 1979, the nightclub has presented such jazz luminaries as Dizzy Gillespie, Gerry Mulligan, Ramsey Lewis, Joe Williams, and Mose Allison, as well as pop music greats James Taylor, Carly Simon, James Brown, Bonnie Raitt, and Jimmy Cliff. The intimate setting, which boasts state-of-the-art sound and lighting, guarantees that audiences at Vineyard Vibes 2003 will enjoy the full scope of the John Scofield Band.

Scofield and Deitch continue the Berklee tradition at the heart of Vineyard Vibes. Past programs have featured jazz saxophone giant Joe Lovano, Latin-jazz vibist Victor Mendoza, and trombone legend Phil Wilson and the Berklee Rainbow All-Stars. This year, Berklee professor Livingston Taylor will host the concert and the opening act will feature one of Berklee's top student ensembles. The concert is the brainchild of producer Barry Rosenthal, president of B/R Creative Group, the agency handling recruitment advertising for the college, and Steven Lipman, Berklee's assistant vice president for student affairs/enrollment. "The idea is to promote the extraordinary talent that is connected to the college," said Rosenthal. "We believe that is the best way to demonstrate what Berklee is all about."

Steve Lipman knows that the concerts give audiences a deeper appreciation for the college. "It is gratifying to see different generations of Berklee musicians appearing on the same stage. Together, we're bringing world-class jazz to enthusiastic audiences, providing experience for our students, and further enhancing the profile and reputation of Berklee."
Last year, a new component was added to Vineyard Vibes. Director of Alumni Affairs Adrian Ross hosted a special Berklee alumni event that included a chartered boat to and from the island, a cocktail reception, dinner before the concert, and VIP seating at the event. Ross is planning a similar event this year. For information, contact him at or at 617-747-2449. If you would like to attend, you can register online. General information about the concert and ticket reservations can be obtained by calling 508-693-0305.

There is also an educational component to Vineyard Vibes. Each year, the concert funds a Berklee scholarship for a Martha's Vineyard Regional High School student. These proceeds ultimately may sponsor the musical education of a future Vineyard Vibes headliner.